Attractiveness and online dating


We all know that beautiful people are more successful daters, but let’s quantify by exactly how much.


So basically, guys are fighting each other 2-for-1 for the absolute best-rated females, while plenty of potentially charming, even cute, girls go unwritten. The female equivalent of the above chart shows a different bias: As you can see from the gray line, women rate an incredible 80% of guys as worse-looking than medium. On the other hand, when it comes to actual messaging, women shift their expectations only just slightly ahead of the curve, which is a healthier pattern than guys’ pursuing the all-but-unattainable.

The curve is symmetric and surprisingly charitable: a woman is as likely to be considered extremely ugly as extremely beautiful, and the majority of women have been rated about “medium.” The chart looks normalized, even though it’s just the unfiltered opinions of our male users.

Given the popular wisdom that Hollywood, the Internet, and Photoshop have created unrealistic expectations of how a woman should look, I found the fairness and, well, realism, of this gray arc kind of heartening.

This week we will confront an unfortunate truth of online dating: no matter how much time you spend polishing your profile, honing your IM banter, and perfecting your message introductions, it’s your picture that matters most.

We’re going to look at how your photos affect both the messages you get and how successful your own outgoing messages are.

Paradoxically, it seems it’s women, not men, who have unrealistic standards for the “average” member of the opposite sex.


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